This Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) image of the
Sierra Nevada mountains near the California-Nevada border was acquired
on August 12, 2000. MISR's vertical-viewing (nadir) camera produced
A stereo "anaglyph" created using the nadir and
45.6-degree forward-viewing cameras provides a three-dimensional view
of the scene when viewed with red/blue glasses. The red filter should be
placed over your left eye.
To facilitate the stereo viewing, the images
have been oriented with north toward the left.
Some prominent features are Mono Lake, in the center of the image;
Walker Lake, to its left; and Lake Tahoe, near the lower left. This view
of the Sierra Nevadas includes Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia
National Parks. Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous 48
states (elev. 14,495 feet), is visible near the righthand edge. Above it
(to the east), the Owens Valley shows up prominently between the Sierra
Nevada and Inyo ranges.
Precipitation falling as rain or snow on the Sierras feeds numerous
rivers flowing southwestward into the San Joaquin Valley. The abundant
fields of this productive agricultural area can be seen along the lower
right; a large number of reservoirs that supply water for crop
irrigation are apparent in the western foothills of the Sierras. Urban
areas in the valley appear as gray patches; among the California cities
that are visible are Fresno, Merced, and Modesto.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station looked obliquely down at the steep eastern flank of California’s Sierra Nevada. Even from space the topography is impressive. The range drops nearly 11,000 feet from Mt. Whitney (under cloud, arrow), the highest mountain in the lower 48 states (14,494 ft), to the floor of Owens Valley (the elevation of the town of Lone Pine is 3,760 ft). The Sierra Nevada landscape is well known for deep, glacially scoured valleys, like Kern Canyon west of Mt. Whitney.